Soggy Mittens Tingly Toes
Turkey Rhubarb Biography Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Turkey Rhubarb is Dale Behnke (mandolin), Gerry Dion (guitar) and Paul Fralick (guitar). They sing in English, French and Spanish; and perform traditional children's songs from North America, Mexico, Antigua, England, Scotland and Ireland. Songs such as 'Saturday Night' and 'Three Fine Mice' (from their first album, "Turkey Rhubarb") and 'Chee Chee Cha' and 'Tell my Ma' (from their second release, "Hello out there!") have 'crossover' appeal: they are enjoyed by children and adults alike. A new album of Christmas and Holiday tunes, "Soggy Mittens, Tingly Toes" was released September 2004 and has sold over 1000 copies. There are many Christmas classics on the disc as well as songs for the winter and festivals of light and a poem. Dale, Gerry and Paul are great believers in the value of diversity and singing in different languages is their way of supporting this. They bring a fun approach to traditional folk tunes. In Gerry's words, the songs are unvarnished: they stand as they are and everyone can respond as they wish. Dale says that the band is three seasoned guys who have not lost their love of music. And in Paul's words, the band brings a profound respect and interest in children to every performance. The band has been together for about 18 years; between them, they represent about 140 years of music experience (There is more information at the end of the bio about their musical roots). Turkey Rhubarb has played over 600 concerts for children in the last 11 years, everywhere from the McMichael Gallery and the Toronto Library system to the Burlington Museum, the Métis Women's Conference and Hamilton's Festival of Friends. Dale, Gerry and Paul became Turkey Rhubarb with their self-titled 1998 release (re-issued in 2003). Audiences always comment on their harmonies, multilingual tunes (English, French and Spanish) and Dale's mandolin solos. Known affectionately as 'tukie woobab' by one of their toddler fans and as The Rhubarb Boys by the children of Kilbride, Ontario, these children's entertainers have gained a wide following. They have performed from Windsor to Montreal; from Niagara to Huntsville. Turkey Rhubarb's music is for dancing, clapping and singing along. Their harmonies, humour and sense of fun are worth a listen! The Band's Musical Roots Dale's music comes from his father, a tenor banjo player. Dale learned to play his dad's banjo, formed a trio in high school where he also learned to play the clarinet, and picked up the mandolin shortly before he, Paul and Gerry got together in the late 1980's. Paul sang in a church choir (for 25 cents a week) and later played clarinet in high school. He taught himself to play ukelele at summer camp then moved on to guitar; in the mid-60s, he was in a short-lived group, "The New Folk Four". Gerry, like Dale, traces his musical roots back to his parents who had a group, "Slim and the Golden Bar Rangers"; they played venues along the St. Lawrence River from western Quebec to eastern Ontario. Gerry became part of the Golden Bar Rangers. In addition to learning to play guitar and singing (Gerry had voice training for 8 years), he also played the trombone in high school.